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Create A Day

One creative project every day for a year


Day 339: “Plarn” Pencil Holder/Can Cozy

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

Yet again it has been quite awhile since I posted last, but between moving and trying to find a job, I haven’t really had much free time to post. I’ve got several projects that I’ve finally uploaded the pictures to my computer, so hopefully I can bust out a few posts and get back on track!

At any rate, today’s creative is for my Dad’s birthday! For once I actually have a present ready on the actual date it should be given, so I thought I’d go ahead and post it! Of course, I still have to mail it, but baby steps people! In case you don’t know, my dad is amazing! And one of my favorite things about him is how environmentally conscious he is! I wish I was as good as him with composting and buying local/organic goods, but I’m sadly not at a place where that’s possible at the moment… maybe once I actually have a job! But the point is, he’s more environmentally friendly than anyone I know, so I thought why not make him something for his birthday that embraces that eco friendly side of him? Enter “plarn.” I don’t know if you all have heard of it, but Plarn, or plastic yarn, is made by upcycling used plastic grocery bags into a long strip or ball of “yarn” that can be used for crocheting or knitting! I found this great website that gives you step by step instructions to make your own if you want! I came across this a few months ago when a friend of mine was making a plarn basket. I wanted to make something for Dad with this material, but didn’t have that many plastic bags (my loving boyfriend recycled the huge pile I had… he knows now to save them :P ), so I found this project for a can cozy/pencil holder that uses about 10 bags!

I went around the house and gathered up all the bags I could find, but ended up only having about 6, so I thought, why not use some used zip-lock bags as well? I had several lying around from a recent trip that had holes in them or whatever, so I made do! Following the instructions in the tutorial, here is my ball of plarn!

So then I started crocheting. Before I post the final pictures there are a few things I learned that will help with future plarn projects, so I thought I’d share with you. First of all, try and get fairly new bags. A couple of the bags I had were probably at least a few months old and were holding stuff from my move. Because they were so old and worn, when I was tying them together, they were tearing super easily! Secondly, if you want to use zip-lock bags, I would do the entire project out of them. Since they were a thicker plastic, the rows that I used zip-lock bags on were a lot thicker, so the holder doesn’t look as uniform as I would like. And finally, while the zip-lock bags were a lot easier to tie together because they were so strong, they were much harder to crochet with. If you use those, I would use a much bigger crochet hook (this project called for the H size) and reduce your stitch counts. They always say to do a test square to see how big your stitches will be, which I never did, but I think this is definitely one case where that would be beneficial! At any rate, it was a bit of a struggle at some points, but here is the finished project!

And here it is with pens/pencils in it.

No pictures with a can in it for now, but you get the idea. :P I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, especially since this was my first plarn project! I think my dad will really like it and I will be making many more projects with plastic bags!

Happy Birthday, Dad! You’re the greatest! I miss you and love you so much!

Anna Grace


Day 337: Lake Pictures

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

For my birthday weekend (which was over a month ago at this point… oops), the Georgia part of my family and I went to a friend’s lake house! Well… we call it a house, but it was more like a mansion!! I’m telling you, that place was huge! At any rate, it and the views were gorgeous, so I took a ton of photos. I immediately instagramed some of them and then got around to editing a few more today in Photoshop. This post is pretty photo heavy because I had a hard time narrowing it down, so I’ll keep the descriptions short!

This first photo is of the main house looking from the direction of the lake.

This photo is of the small A-Frame guest house.

And here’s my cousin Clarissa and aunt Kitti walking with second cousin Wells in front of the guest house!

And Wellsie on the small dock, which she kept calling a boat!

This was the view from the small dock to the main house and dock.

Here’s part of my family swinging on the swing outside of the guest house.

A closer look of the main house…

They had this sign right by the door… I thought it was appropriate :P

Here’s one of my other second cousins, Charleston or Charlie! Isn’t she adorable??

They had this amazing stone fireplace where the stone went all the way to the ceiling in this double-height living room! It was nice and cozy to be around!

For my birthday my aunt made one of my favorite desserts, Pineapple Upside-Down Cake! It was soooooo good!!

So! Overall it was an amazing, restful weekend! Probably one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had! I can’t wait to go back!

Anna Grace


Day 335: Eric Berry Digital Portrait

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

It’s been almost a month since my last post, so I clearly didn’t make my deadline of finishing this 365 project by my birthday… What can I say, I have a life! But seriously, I’ve done several creative projects recently, but I just haven’t had the time to post them! At any rate, I think I’ll definitely have this done by May, but we’ll see. Moving on…

This creative project was my birthday present to my awesome boyfriend! His birthday was January 31 and we had just started dating the weekend before that. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I’m terrible about buying gifts for men… I never know what to get them! Plus, we were in that awkward period of the relationship where we were just getting to know each other, so a typical expensive boyfriend gift didn’t seem appropriate. Anyways, in one of our first conversations Chris had mentioned that he wasn’t a UT fan (why the hell not??!!!), but he really liked Eric Berry who went there, but now plays for the KC Chiefs! I agree that Eric Berry is amazing and was fortunate enough to see him on the bus at UT between classes once! :mrgreen: So, I decided I would do something creative and FREE for Chris’s birthday and do a portrait of Eric Berry!

I decided to do a digital portrait so I could work on it while nannying on my iPad when the baby was asleep. I used the same app from my Dad’s portrait, Sketch Book Express, to draw this one. Here’s the original photograph of Eric Berry in all his muscular glory!

So I took that photo into Sketch Book Express and just started layering over it with the paintbrush tool. It took me maybe 3 or 4 hours over 2 days of nannying to complete it. Then I used the Over app like in my Typography post and added his name and nickname “The Fifth Dimension!” I have no idea why he’s named that, but I love the way it sounds, so whatever. :P Then I took that back into the Sketch Book Express app and wrote Happy Birthday and signed it! Here’s the finished product!

I’m extremely happy with the way this turned out! It was relatively easy to do with this app, but it looks like a unique piece of art! The best part is that Chris loved it! I’m pretty certain that’s why I’m his girlfriend! :mrgreen: Well, that and our mutual love of Dr. Pepper! :P I love this drawing and will definitely be doing more like it!

Anna Grace


Day 332: Typography

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

Over the past few months I’ve seen a lot of images on instagram that had text added to them. I thought they looked really neat, so I did a bit of research and found that most of them were made with an app called Over. So I downloaded it and played around with it!

This first one is an instagram picture that I took awhile back as I was relaxing in the tub. Something I forget to do often is to take a moment for myself during my busy schedule, so taking a nice long bath is the perfect way to do that! Here’s two variations of this text because I couldn’t decide which I liked better.

Which do you like better? This next image was taken of 2 of my cousins carrying my aunt who has cerebral palsy into the ocean! I love this picture of them! When I got back to Atlanta after Christmas I found a quote from Maya Angelou that perfectly describes how I feel about my family. Since I found that quote, I’ve been trying to figure out a creative way to use it… so why not on this picture?

Then I decided to use the same quote and make it a bit more fancy.  This is the original photo taken by my amazing cousin Callie (Check out her photography! of her two precious girls! I thought this photo definitely supported the quote.

I then took this photo into Adobe Photoshop Express and messed around with the saturation, hue, etc. until I got it a little antique looking. I decided to play around with different fonts to make it more interesting!

I LOVE how this turned out! It’s now my desktop pattern, and I think I will print it out to put in this awesome frame I got for Christmas! I hope Callie doesn’t think I butchered her photo… Sorry Callie! But I’m really happy with it!

At least one more post coming up tonight or tomorrow!

Anna Grace


Day 323: Crocheted Teddy Bears

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

It’s been FOREVER since I posted last. BUT I’ve had a complete life change in the last month and a half or so, so I think it’s forgivable! At any rate, I’m now living in Atlanta with my Aunt and Uncle and have been working as a nanny for a precious newborn! As per usual, I made all of my christmas gifts I gave away this year! Two of my favorite things I made were crocheted teddy bears! I made them for two of my little second cousins! I used the pattern on this website for the most part, but I changed it up a bit by making a teeny scarf instead of a bow tie!

I started out with a pink bear for Wells. This being the first bear I made and the first time I had crocheted in awhile, it turned out a bit wonky, but I was still happy with it!

The yarn I used on this pink bear was a bit thinner than what the pattern called for, so that’s why you can see the stuffing so well, and it was sort of hard to work with! Fun fact: I bought a ton of cotton balls at the dollar store and used those to stuff the bears!

The second go around went a lot better, mostly because it was the correct yarn and I knew what I was doing! I made this bear blue for Gunnar!

I feel sort of bad for Wellsie that Gunnar’s bear came out so much better, but they both liked them a lot! And honestly, Gunnar will probably be much rougher on his as a rambunctious 3 year old boy! My aunt sent me this picture right after he opened his saying “He can’t stop hugging him!”

I’m so glad they like them! I hope they will keep them forever and appreciate that their awesome second cousin made them especially for them! I think I might make one more for the baby boy I’m nannying!

I made several other gifts this holiday that I’d like to post on here, but forgot to get adequate documentation of them! So, I’ve texted all the recipients to send me pictures, so more present posts coming soon!

I’m going to try and get one more post in tonight, but we’ll see! I’m not sure if I will be able to finish this 365 project by the time my birthday rolls around next month, but I’m really going to try!

Anna Grace


Day 319: November Desktop Wallpaper

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

Yet again, I have fallen behind on these posts. I know I say this every time, but my life is actually insane right now. Like, more busy than ever before, so you’ll have to bear with me, but I promise that this blog will be done by my birthday! At any rate, since it’s now November and I missed a couple of months, I decided to do a desktop/wallpaper pattern!

As always, I used the latest collection of Benjamin Moore colors chosen by Pottery Barn for every single color in this. A side note: I learned last night that the new CEO of Ben Moore decided to cut ties with Pottery Barn in order to finance better advertising, so while Pottery Barn will still recommend BM colors, they’re no longer officially affiliated. At any rate, I decided since all of November has us hungrily awaiting the end of the month’s Thanksgiving feast, I would use a turkey theme for this desktop. So I found a simple clip-art of a turkey and changed the colors, then changed the colors of everything else in the background. I chose to use American Typewriter as the font for “November” because, after all, Thanksgiving is an American holiday! I also added a little fall leaf to the calendar to mark when Thanksgiving day is, because I don’t know about you, but I always forget if it’s the third week of November, or what! Here’s the finished product:

As always, feel free to click on the above image to see it bigger and use it for your own computer! Here it is looking all snazzy on my desktop!

I think it turned out pretty good! I’m not sure if I’ll get turkey this Thanksgiving, but this sure makes me want some!

So, I thought I would just update you all on what’s going on in my life right now and ask you for your thoughts, prayers, positive energies, vibes or whatever you can give me! My hours at the paint store have been cut down a lot, to the point where I am forced to find a new job ASAP! I think of it as a good thing, because I really need to find something that’s better for me, health-wise, and that uses my degree more! But, I’m looking really hard trying to find something, so I’ve been traveling all over the place interviewing. I’m hoping to ┬áhave figured this all out by the end of next week, so please pray for a fast response from those I’ve interviewed with!! On top of all that, I’ve also got to figure out HOW I’ll get moved to wherever, what to do about my apartment, and until I find a job, how I’m going to pay for everything! Things are so crazy right now, but I have faith that it will all work out! So thanks to all of you… friends, family, and those who follow that I don’t even know… for being there for me!

Anna Grace


Day 318: Fruit iPad Sketches

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the game Draw Something for phones/tablets, but it’s a really fun game sort of like Pictionary where you draw pictures for your friend to guess. It’s really addictive and hilarious and also the inspiration for this post!

I was playing a friend of mine and got the word “fruit.” Before I knew it I became inthralled in the drawing of various fruits with epic shading! She probably guessed the word way before I finished drawing, but I had so much fun that I decided to do some more drawings on my iPad without having to worry about my time in the game. I started by drawing a peach, then ended up, on a whim adding the phrase “She’s such a peach” to it. So I thought, what are some other fruit-related phrases that I could use? So I ended up with 4 drawing/phrase combos! First comes the peach…

Then I drew a slice of a lemon with “When life gives you lemons.” I think this is my least favorite…

Then I drew a couple of cherries with the phrase “Life’s a bowl of cherries.”

Finally I drew a green apple with the phrase “the apple of my eye!”

I think the apple is my favorite! I really loved playing with the layering of different shades on top of each other to get the final image! I think I’ll do some more finger doodling on my iPad :)

Anna Grace


Day 313: UT Gardens Pictures

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

I happened to have today off, which is very strange for a Wednesday, so my roommate and I decided to go to the Farmer’s Market in Market Square! We caught the tail end of it and bought some great veggies, but we also found out that there was another Farmer’s Market at the UT Gardens later this afternoon! So we decided, why not go? We got there way before the market actually started, so we decided to walk around the UT Gardens. In case you don’t know, the University of Tennessee has a huge agricultural department and actually started as an agriculture school originally. So, they’ve set up these huge gardens on the Ag campus, as we call it, that showcase beautiful plants! I’ve been one other time, very briefly several years ago, but it was in November, so most of the stuff was dead. I was really blown away at how gorgeous and well kept everything was, so I ended up taking a bunch if pictures! I took them on my cell and I edited them in InstaGram (super technical, I know…) and thought I’d share them here!

One big fenced off section of the Gardens is called the Kitchen. It houses tons of different fruit, vegetables and herbs from all over the place! It had an amazing aroma and I put some mint, rosemary and thyme in my bag, so it smells great, too! This first photo is of some teeny eggplants!

Lining the outside of the fence there were a lot of sunflowers. Sunflowers have always been my favorite flower, I even designed my bedroom around them when I was little (it was very 90s complete with sponge painting…), so I had to snap a picture when I saw them! I think they were the bees’ favorite, too!

Away a little bit from the Kitchen there was this HUGE plant (bush? I couldn’t find a plaque with the name of it…) that had enormous leaves on it! As I told Bethany, you could swaddle a baby with those leaves, they we so big! The second pic below is just for size reference so you can see how huge they were compared to my hand.

Any good garden has to have roses, in my opinion, and the UT Gardens definitely lived up to that! I think this is a rose…. But I’m terrible at flower/plant recognition, so I could be wrong, so tell me in the comments what it is! At any rate, rose or not, I thought it was gorgeous!

I noticed this red arbor from several yards away and immediately wanted to take a look at it! Much to our surprise and my pleasure it surrounded a labyrinth! Here’s Bethany happy to be outside in front of the arbor.

I think this picture is my favorite from the day. I didn’t edit this at all because I thought it was perfect without any special filters! I just love how the slats of the arbor looked going in a curve!

As I mentioned, this arbor surrounded a labyrinth made of stones. I’ve walked labyrinths three other times in my life, and each time I’ve gotten a sense of calm and clarity that I can’t explain. The first labyrinth I walked was one I helped create with my youth group and one of my earliest moments of spiritual clarity and peace. The second labyrinth was in Ireland the second day I got there. I walked it in silence with my youth leader and it stands out to me as one of the closest moments I have ever had with her and the first of many moments where I really felt the presence of the holy spirit with me in Ireland. It also really prepared me for the trip ahead, I think. The last labyrinth I have walked until today it the one outside of my church back home. Shortly after it was made, I walked it in silence and found clarity about issues with my life at that moment. Today’s experience at the Labyrinth at the UT Gardens was no different. I’ve had an issue that has been laying very heavily in my heart for the past few days, and as I walked the labyrinth, I had sudden clarity about what I needed to do, and what was right for me. I really can’t explain the feeling it gave me, but it was as if my eyes opened to what I needed. I’m not a super religious person, but for me, labyrinths like this one are one of the best ways for me to find my own spiritual guidance, and now that I know this one is here, I plan to visit it more often.

This has ended up being a wordy post, but I felt the need to write out my emotions that happened in this garden today. It was really a magical day and I hope to go back!

Anna Grace


Day 309: August Desktop Wallpaper

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

Well, I skipped the month of July as far as desktop patterns go, but it’s only the first of August and I’m already posting one for this month! Yay progress!

As per usual, I created this desktop calender around Benjamin Moore’s Spring/Summer color collection from Pottery Barn! I decided that this month’s theme needed to be the beach, because although some public schools started classes today, it’s still summer! That and if I could afford it and could take the time off, I would TOTALLY be at the beach right now. Who wants to make that a reality, hmmm?? :mrgreen: Anyway, I found a little clip art of a sandcastle that I though was cute and changed all the colors to those in the Spring/Summer Collection! This wallpaper may be a bit cheesy in comparison to some others I’ve done, but I think the color change helped tone it down a bit. Here’s the original clip art file just so you can get an idea of how many colors I had to change!

So then I just changed the background, stripe, and calendar colors and chose a different font and I was done! Here’s the final product:

And on my desktop…

See? Much more muted and way less garish. As always, click the top image above to get the full size version and feel free to download it and use it on your computer! Enjoy!!

Anna Grace


Day 305: Cupcake Soap

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

I was in Michael’s a few weeks ago and came across this kit to make soap that looks like cupcakes!

Sorry for the blurry pic… Anyways, I was with my friend, Whitney, at the time, and she loves cupcakes (her kitchen is cupcake themed!), so I had to get it! We were planning on making these together, but every time I came over, we didn’t have time, or we forgot about it, so I ended up making them myself! I made these a while ago, but kept forgetting to post them!

The soap is the consistency of play-doh, so you’re able to sculpt it! The first cupcake I made had a yellow base, white swirl icing and a strawberry with glitter on top!

The next cupcake was a brown base with pink icing and then a red swirl pattern. All this was topped with bath salts and glitter!

The last cupcake was a white base with purple icing and a pink and red flower with green leaves on top! Of course, a bit of glitter was added! :)

That was all the cupcakes the directions called for, but there was a ton of soap leftover, so I made this circle with flowers on it.

This was a simple, but fun craft to do with super cute results! But I definitely think that these are more for decoration than actual use. They never get hard, even after sitting out for over a week, so they wouldn’t hold their shape if you tried to actually wash your hands with them. But they look cute on my sink, so that’s alright! I ended up giving the one with the flower to Whitney :)

I’ve got 2 more posts I’m going to do today or tomorrow, but I don’t expect to posting much for the next couple of weeks. I’m moving to my new apartment and am crazy busy trying to pack!

Anna Grace

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